Intelligence agents of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) busted on Monday, January 30, P15 million-worth of smuggled imported fresh red Indian onions contained in 11 40-footer container vans (CVs) lodged for processing at the Manila International Container Port (MICP).
Of the 11 CVs, eight (8) were consigned to Mheriban Sales Corporation (MSC) with address Room 892 Artex Building, 435 Juan Luna street, Barangay 287, Zone 27, Binondo, Manila, and three (3) to Malaya Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MMPC) with address at Mapaniqui, Candaba, Pampanga. All have no valid import permits from the Bureau of Plant and Industry (BPI).
Customs Commissioner Nicanor E. Faeldon said agents of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) at MICP led by Officer-in-Charge Teodoro C. Sagaral alerted BOC’s Command Center to issue an alert order on the shipment after a check with BPI.
“Our CIIS agents inquired at the Department of Agriculture (DA) to inquire on its policy covering agricultural importation of onion products, and it appears that the importers have no corresponding import permits at the moment,” he said.
Commissioner Faeldon added that the BOC strictly observes its commitment to the inter-agency committee on agricultural smuggling, which is guided by Republic Act No. 10845, otherwise known as the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016. The inter-agency is chaired by Cabinet Secretary Leoncio B. Evasco, Jr., with the National Food Authority (NFA) and BOC as members.
In Sagaral’s report, it was cited that the onions were brought into the country from India through E.R. Felixstowe 032E vessel.
The 8 CVs of MSC were contained in import entry numbers 2013-17, 1935-17, and 1963-17 while the 3 CVs of MMPC were lodged under import entry number 1381-17.
The MSC onions were loaded in CVs numbered: TTNU8282130; GESU9594042; TTNU8280842; SZLU9154400; SZLU9174768; SZLU9174285; TEMU9033802; and TEMU9158271. On the other hand, the MMPC onion shipments were in CVs numbered: SZLU9175194; TTNU8282167; and TTNU8281160.# (Reference: Col. Neil Anthony L. Estrella, Director, CIIS and BOC spokesperson)